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The X Factor is stepping up its Social TV game: Fox announced late Tuesday that users will be able to vote for their favorite finalists via Twitter, starting with next week's final-12 episode. While Twitter has played an increasingly valuable role in television (Project Runway, The Voice), users have never before been able to manipulate the outcome of a competition through the social networking tool.

To vote, fans must follow the official Twitter handle for the show (@TheXFactorUSA), then submit their selections via direct message — it's important to note that tweets themselves will not be counted as votes.

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Besides voting, The X Factor

will also feature tweets from the judges, host Steve Jones, and competition finalists. Sounds eerily familiar..."The X Factor has raised the bar for innovative television with its use of Twitter to create a 360-degree experience around the show's judges, finalists and viewers," said Chloe Sladden, director of content and programming at Twitter. "Fans flock to Twitter during live television events and have been voicing their opinions with Tweets for years. We're thrilled to see the creators of The X Factor push the envelope further by being the first television show to formalize this phenomenon through Twitter voting."

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Not a tweeter? Not to worry.You can also vote online at,, text message (for Verizon Wireless users only), and through The Xtra Factor App on Verizon Android devices. And if you're still living in 1995, you can cast your vote via toll-free calling.The X Factor next airs Wednesday, Nov. 2 at 8/7c on Fox.Interested in reading more about Social TV? Check out our coverage here.